by Douglas Miller

Complete minutes of this meeting may be found at

Financial Issues

  • CAS had provided the Columbia Public School District with student scholarships for summer programs that have since been canceled due to COVID-19. Lisa Shenker has been in touch with CPS Science Coordinator Mike Szydlowski regarding the disposition of these funds.
  • Lottie Bushmann, Lisa Shenker, Jan Mees and Allison Vaughn met to review and update the Hog Island Teacher Scholarship application. The revised application will be ready for the fall.
  • Hog Island is holding onto the CAS scholarship funds for the 2020 slate of teachers, who will now attend in 2021 and have first choice of sessions.

Audit Committee

  • Jim Gast will appoint members to an Audit committee to review our finances over the summer. Eric Seaman is preparing an end-of-year financial statement.


  • The Membership chair is vacant since Doug Miller is becoming Secretary. Doug will send out membership renewals reminders in July and assist the incoming chair during the transition.
  • Allison Vaughn will remain as Communications Chair but also become Chat editor.
  • Since John Besser is now filling the Past President chair, Bill Mees will chair the Nature Areas committee.
  • John Besser and Eric Wood will co-chair the Field Trips committee.
  • The Hospitality Chair is vacant.
  • Laura Hillman will remain as co-chair of the Bird Counts committee. John and Laura are working towards using eBird as the main vehicle of CAS data collection for the Christmas Bird Count and North American Migratory Bird Count.
  • Bill Mees volunteers Jan Mees to chair the CoMoGives Committee.

Board Voting by E-mail

  • We reviewed questions surrounding conducting board votes by e-mail during emergency situations like COVID-19, where the board cannot physically meet. John Besser said that state statues suggest affirming e-mail votes during a substantial board interaction — such as an online meeting, if not a full in-person meeting. Nancy Bedan asked if we should update the bylaws to include provisions for e-mail voting and/or emergency situations when the board cannot meet in person. Nancy suggests that current state rules were last updated in 1995 and do not provide clear guidance; other states do suggest affirming email votes with a 100% majority.

Brad Jacobs Memorial

  • The board discussed memorializing past CAS president Brad Jacobs. The board voted to spend up to $4000 for a single Motus tower, with that amount offset by any donations received from the membership.

Boone Electric Community Trust

  • The Boone Electric Community Trust offers grants to eligible 501(c)(3) organizations and public entities. Nancy suggested rennovations to the Wildhaven shelter or interpretive signage at CANS as other possibilities. John Besser will put together a document outlining priorities for Wildhaven and its shelter. We’ll think about possible uses of such grant opportunities and discuss at a future meeting.

Nature School Council House

  • Mike Szydlowski, Science Coordinator for Columbia Public Schools, is reporting a change in location of the Nature School Council House, whose construction costs CAS has funded. The original proposed location was on property that has not yet been transferred from the Waters family. Bidding for construction is to take place in August, with work expected to be completed in October. The plans for the floor have also changed: in order to comply with ADA accessibility rules, the dirt floor will now be concrete — with the exception of the fire ring in the center.